Original Research - Special Collection: Impact of Reformed Theology

The rise and fall of Christian-Nationalism: The ideological evolution of Dopper intellectuals

Mordechai Tamarkin
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 2 | a2640 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i2.2640 | © 2020 Mordechai Tamarkin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2020 | Published: 14 September 2020

About the author(s)

Mordechai Tamarkin, Department of Middle East and African History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel


Christian-nationalism as the core of Afrikaner identity and ideology was introduced by Dopper intellectuals. It was used by them as early as the late 19th century. The two components of this concept were, in fact, an oxymoron. Christianity represents universal values, whereas nationalism focuses on the particular identity and interests of a particular group, the nation. Consequently, there was a built-in tension in this identity and ideological construct. For Dopper intellectuals, the Christian was clearly paramount. Nationalism had to be submitted to God’s universal moral values.


Christian-nationalism; Apartheid; Dopper intellectuals; Afrikaanse Calvinistiese Beweging; Woord en Daad; Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education; Reformed Church of South Africa


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